Just because a small town doesn't have a lot of people does not mean it doesn't have its fair share of secrets. Since everyone knows everyone, when a scandal happens, it spreads like wildfire. Just ask these Redditors.
People living in small towns share their town's latest scandal. Content has been edited for clarity.
"So this was years and years ago (1960s) in my community. We aren’t even really a proper town, just a bunch of farmland with a gas station and primary (elementary) school in the middle. Anyways, a couple was found dead in their home, cops figured they’d been shot through the window while sitting in the lounge. This sort of thing rarely happens in my country, let alone a tiny farming community of a few hundred.
But it gets weirder. The couple had a baby, a daughter I think. She was found alive in her crib, hungry dehydrated and dirty but alive. It was determined the couple had died three or four days earlier, which means the baby should have died... which lead to the realisation someone had come by and fed her at least once.
So either the killer left the baby and yet came back to feed her a day or two later, or some random person had come over, decided not to call the police about the two very obviously dead people but fed the baby?
Obviously everyone wanted someone to be caught, we had a killer among us. Since there are so few people, a lot of people probably knew them. Eventually a man was charged and convicted, and spent the next 10 years in prison. Except... he didn’t do it.
The cops were so desperate to catch someone and put the community at ease, they planted false evidence that /proved' one of the suspects was 'guilty.' Poor guy spent ten years behind bars with no one listening to him. He got a massive payout and used it to buy a massive farm so he didn’t have to talk to anyone anymore. Sad story, and was the end of it until now.
A few days ago, news broke that the falsely convicted guy, now 81, was facing five historical charges of assault. The cops/courts haven’t released any information about who or when it happened, and everyone is obviously very shocked. No idea yet if it happened before prison, during prison or after. His brother who still lives around here is worried all the publicity from the last trial means it won’t be a fair trial, and he’s probably absolutely right.
I have no opinions or speculations about if he did it or not. The shock of it all is probably going to kill the old guy, and I don’t think any of the legal matters in his life have ever been fair so this one probably isn’t either."
"A high-level employee at a very prominent and well-regarded local indie business is fired. He makes public social media posts confirming that he was fired and claiming it was for no good reason. This person is relatively popular with many friends/acquaintances in town, and succeeds in turning quite a few people against this business and having them proclaim they'll never shop there again for how they treated him.
Fast forward a few months and he is arrested for theft...at this business. It now comes out that he was fired for substance use and suspected prior theft. He now publicly confirms that he was on narcotics, but claims he is deeply remorseful and trying to get clean. Loses some support due to the crimes committed, but still has quite a few vocal supporters due to 'admitting he has a problem' and 'trying to get help.'
Over the next several months, he has a long continuous public meltdown on social media. It becomes obviously apparent that he is still using and in no way seeking help, due to both logical inconsistencies in his stories and the increasingly deranged content of the posts. Supporters quietly drop away with each passing day and eventually he is left just kinda yelling his incredibly weird rants into an empty social media void.
At the height of said derangement, a local woman makes a public post with included receipts showing that he's been harassing many, many local women (sending them member pics and very aggressively demanding they sleep with him in a borderline assault-ish way) and also confirming that he is still heavily using and dealing narcotics.
He has now dropped off the face of the (internet) earth thanks to that post, the affected business is still booming, and many, many local people are feeling real stupid for rallying behind him."
"Our last mayor decided to not run this year because he's been in the news a lot for threatening to kill his neighbor's dog, as well as just threatening the neighbor in general. Wasn't faring well for him. So a friend of his who was a very well-known socialite and realtor decided to run in his place. Well, my city is sort of small, and the people who have lived here awhile would like to keep the houses from being built pretty much on top of each other. So she quickly found herself opposed, with the competition's platform built around preserving the natural land we have left and dumping old, earmarked projects that were planned literally 20 years ago that no one wants anymore. Surprisingly, yet not surprisingly, her opponent won. And right after the opponent took office, she began pushing through decades old earmarked land sales and making new land sale negotiations - the exact opposite of her platform - like 'mayor' just means 'honorary realtor' or something. People very much badly want her head on a platter. The population here is completely furious.
To give further info in my small town: population of 41,000. That includes kids. The city's main Facebook page (run by the socialite) only accepts adult residents of the city into the group, & the last I checked, there are about 35,000 members.
Another example of how small it is here: Someone a very long time ago dumped a flock of chickens in the middle of downtown. According to the stories, an old guy had a lot of chickens and, when he died, his son inherited everything - including the birds. He didn't want to keep the chickens so, instead of selling them, he just figured if he dumped them off in the middle of downtown, they'd be scooped up or eliminated. What ended up happening, though, is that the town weirdly rallied around these abandoned chickens. No one takes them in. They're allowed to roam wherever they want - the outsides of restaurants, the post office, the library, schools, etc. Vets do chicken check-ups pro bono, and people will absolutely lose their freaking minds if someone doesn't always respect the chicken. It's kinda odd. There are chicken souvenir everything all over the place, even though literally no one comes here to visit if they don't already know someone here, so they pretty much already have their chicken swag."
"I got two. First one is happened almost two years ago about a girl in one of my classes. She was in lock down because her parents didn't trust her because she did some pretty bad things. Well this girl is adopted. She quit coming to school and we found out she had been homeschooled. Well no one really heard from her from them on. So one day everyone hears that when her 'mother' came home from work, she walked in on her and her husband doing it in the bedroom. She was devastated.
She kicked him out and the girl. She filed for divorce. The man who is in his late forties decides he doesn't want his wife anymore. He left her, bought a new house and is living with the girl now. They've been in a relationship since then.
Second one happened last year when the football coach got arrested for sending a minor nudes and inappropriate messages vice versa with the girl. The cops had the girls phone in custody when he sent one to her phone. It was so shocking because he was so well respected. His last name is one of those names that was instantly respected in the school/town. He has children that do sports and are also a big deal, so when this came out, it hit them. But they weren't mad at their dad, they were mad at the girl for getting their dad arrested.
His daughter said quote 'When I see that girl, I'm going to freaking beat her up.'
That girl didn't come to school for a while. The school tried to make it seem like it didn't happen, but we all knew. We knew from the secret whispers and the news. All in all, he isn't allowed to go to any school or town gatherings. He had to register as a child offender."
"I own a resort in a small town, and one of the neighbors has a serious problem with the resort. This person is very well off and doesn’t like anyone else unless they have millions of dollars like he has. We get complaints constantly from the Health department, zoning, sewer, DNR, fire department etc, that have been turned in by an 'anonymous' source . It’s a huge waste of our time and all the agencies this person calls. Nothing has ever been found.
Finally after a year of harassment, he finally found something wrong with the resort. Long before I purchased it, the previous owner had put in a small number of sites. In that process, they put the electrical boxes for the handful of sites on the lot line. Two of the electrical boxes come to find out are in the right-a-way by six inches for one and two feet for the other. Boom .... he has me!
I get notice I need to appear at the next town meeting. So I do some research and find some very interesting items also. I do my prep for the meeting. This leads to a huge presentation at the next town board meeting by this person about how I am breaking these rules and my property should be shut down, and my license needs to be revoked so the resort goes out of business.
Normally, town board meetings have no one in attendance but this one was filled to the brim with people. The town commissioner hears the complaint with all the facts and asks me to take the podium to speak. I walk up with my folder.
'Commissioner, I 100% agree that my pedestals are over the line and I asked that I have 30 days to rectify this scenario and get them out of the right away,' I stated.
Commissioner says that works and they all vote and it passes, I have 30 days to fix it. The board then asks me if I have anything else.
'Yes I do.'
I open my folder and pull out some maps and hand them out to all the commissioners.
'As you can see, this is a zoning map for the properties around our property. I’d like to point out the fact that there a neighbor that has a large garage over four feet of the right away. I would like to open a formal complaint regarding this and have this action taken care of by the township. I demand that if I am held accountable for my property over the line In The right-a-way actions, the county and town also holds all individuals equally accountable. I’d expect you give them the same amount of time you’re giving me to correct the issue including moving their property out of the right a way,' I finish.
The commissioner agrees, looks at the information with a smirk, and states that this is a concern has been filed with the township and in the next meeting they will force the individual to move their garage.
The best part was the garage is owned the gentleman who made all of the complaints to us and has been on a witch hunt. See, this individual builds anything they want, wherever they want without any checking on it. The town was always too scared to go after him because of his money and lawyers. No one ever checked on it until now.
The crowd in the meeting went wild, pandemonium broke out which then lead to the board asking the gentleman his comments. He freaked out, started screaming at the board, and stomped out of the room as people cheered.
Come to learn after this all going on this individual is been a thorn in everyone side for years, and I’m the first person to stand up to them and win.
To this day I still walk around town and they talk about it."
"During my sister's volleyball game one of the super aggressive sports dads slapped someone else's kid- cause apparently she 'set the ball into a bad positioning,' and that caused his daughter to miss the spike.
The entire community is turned against him right now, and the family of the girl is considering pressing charges. I feel they should, because this guy has gotten close to crossing the line before and he needs to be reprimanded for his actions
The worst part was after he slapped the poor girl, he drove away leaving his kid to be embarrassed and alone in a court full of people furious at her dad. Thankfully, one of the nice moms gave her a ride back to her house where she spent the night.
A couple of weeks after the incident, the family decided to press charges. As a result, investigations into the living conditions in his house were conducted. It came to light he beat his wife and child.
He's now not only going away for aggravated assault, but also child and domestic abuse. His wife filled for a divorce, because in an interview she said she 'really wanted to for a long time, I was just terrified what he'd do to me.'
Luckily, the woman is getting all the assets, and custody of their daughter. I don't know exactly how long his sentence is, but I know he won't be welcome back in our town once he's out. But for now our little town can go back to being happy again, and I think everyone is thankful for that."
"They decided it would be great to add a bike path through our small tourist town. We already have a bike lane running through it, but no one seems to mention that. Now, adding a nice wide path doesn't sound immediately like a big deal, but the highway runs straight through the center of town. So if you add anything to either side, you have to tear up either residential yards, or the already tiny and impossible to maneuver parking lots of small businesses. Of course, city hall decided that it would be a mess to tear up 30-40 yards, so they're taking the parking lot space instead. We already have a parking issue, and the businesses that it would really hurt are the ones that actually serve locals (gas stations, hardware stores, and some small restaurants).
But our mayor literally gives no thoughts about that. It's become really apparent that if you aren't a bar, high end restaurant, or art gallery, he doesn't care about your opinion because you don't serve the tourists as much as everyone else.
So, over the course of two years, our main road through town is gonna be clogged up, traffic will be redirected to god knows where. People who own small businesses that have been serving the community for, in some cases, 40 plus years, are going to have their parking removed or access ruined. Roads into the lots will be removed permanently, and a few are losing their sign posts. All for the bike path, did I mention the mayor is a avid cyclist and owns and operates the bike shop in town?
Oh, and they just removed several massive elm trees that were upwards of 80 years old to make way for the project, before they officially got the go ahead to do the path. They said they had called in arborists from several different companies to examine the trees, city hall said they were sick and therefore would need to go anyways. Apparently they did actually do this, but the arborists in no way said the trees were dying. Now downtown along the highway where they were growing looks like any other little town, not my home town. I'm just mad they lied to get people off their backs.
There was a small protest on the cutting day to keep the trees because they ignored the petition a lot of people had signed. My girlfriend's mother went to city hall to talk to the mayor and just ask him, 'Why?'
He apparently went on vacation for the weekend the morning the tree cutting started."
"A well known guy who had worked at the local college for years and was running for mayor had been caught cheating with another lady in town who was also in a prominent family. Well instead of trying to fix things and work stuff out, he drove out to a family park where kids were playing, and shot himself in the head. He did this not before calling his oldest son who was like 17, and telling him where to find his body. Son was traumatized, called the cops, as far as I know nobody but the cops saw his body because they got there right after he did it. The best and worst part? The guy lived. And had to go to a hospital where they quickly realized he was not going to make it. So the whole family had to go and watch him die. His poor wife..... The doctor said though that while he was dying, he was conscious and in pain. So that’s a little consolation for what he did to his family.
Another time, the town had been fighting about whether or not to pass funding to fix the school or the water pipes. The school was literally falling apart, and tiles were falling on kids in class. There was even a huge rotted hole with mold in the gym, which was making the school freezing cold in the winter
Well, the town was pretty divided on funding, and some old ladies in town got mad about it. So, they made a smear campaign in the local paper about the guys who are proponents of funding for the water pipes. Huge mess, half the town won’t speak to each other. Neighborhoods torn apart, crazy stuff.
There’s also been a ton of suicides by teens and deaths of younger folks for unexpected reasons. Really sad stuff. Recently a pair of teens were killed when they were speeding around a corner and an oil tank truck was stopped in the middle of the highway. They slammed into the back and were killed instantly, but their friends were in the car behind them and saw.
Small towns are fun!"
"We had a family, mother and two grown boys, who lived in a trailer.
First of all, trailer parks where I come from are not the usual super trashy ones you immediately think of, it was more like a housing district with an HoA that just happened to be on wheels. But this family was a sore spot, exactly what you think of when you think white trash. And their trailer backed up to one of the main roads through town. The family thought it was a good idea to move all of their living room furniture out into their backyard so they could sit, watch the traffic and sip their brews. They would sometimes even sleep in their yard since their couch and two recliners were in the yard already.
Being in a more respectable trailer park with trailers that were more high end, this did not sit well with the community. I know the city eventually stepped in but I am not sure what exactly happened. They did go on and on about their rights though.
Let me paint you an even better picture. The mother and her boys were all morbidly obese, wore clothes that were about a size or two too small and not only could you tell by just looking at them that they were unwashed, you could smell them from the main road they lived along if the wind was blowing in the right direction, which means the rest of the time, their neighbors got the smell blowing their way.
I was a server during high school at a Chinese restaurant and they came in frequently. We couldn't seat anyone in the section they were in the smell was so bad and the owner would not allow us to refuse service. We would get an earful in angry Chinese and shoved toward the table if we protested. They always wanted to chit chat and it was absolute torture to sit there and smell them for five minutes. I never knew the human body could produce such odors."
"A huge Facebook Data Center just opened in my small, very backwards town. A lot of people moved here from out of state to work there. All very young, fresh out of college, tech types. The types that come from cities and neighborhoods where crazy subtances users and families of 14 living in a single mobile home aren't exactly the norm.
Some of these new folks (a super sweet, nerdy guy and his girl) move in right across the street from me... and right next door to the most stereotypical white trash, totally crazy, crack dealer you can imagine. Like this guy always looks like he just walked out of a freaking explosion or something.
So the new guy is obviously worried about his new neighbor, and repeatedly calls the cops on the crack dealer and his increasingly deranged behavior. This soon escalates into an all out war of craziness and retaliation.
The climax of which culminates with the crack dealer standing on the roof of his trailer completely undressed, screeching, playing with himself, and hurtling old tires and other debris all over the new guys property, trailer, and Prius... at 2 am on a Monday.
I wander out to watch the weirdness just in time to see the new guy finally snap when one of the tires hits his girl, and lays her right the heck out. The new guy grabs a shovel from his yard, hops the fence and begins scrambling up the side of methy's trailer.
Just as he gets himself up on the roof and begins brandishing his shovel, a sheriff car pulls up and hits both of them with their floodlight. The cops take one look at the scene in front of them, stare at each other for a moment, then one of them yells: 'Kid, drop the shovel and get down from there! Randy, put some clothes on and go to sleep!'
The new guy obeys and hops down. Randy then scrambles down, gives everyone watching (pretty much the entire neighborhood at this point) one more good junk-shaking shimmy then skitters inside. The good ol small town sheriff deputies of course do their job, and immediately take off once new guy and Randy are both inside their homes.
The next day, the new guy's water heater goes missing (i.e., gets ripped right out from the side of his trailer) and everyone in town is talking about Randy's junk.
It's been weeks, and people are still talking about Randy's junk.
Another day in paradise."
"Girls from my small town have taken to Twitter recently to expose a pretty well-known guy in town. He is notoriously known for being a player and messing around with girls on a daily. He is also known for stealing and being racist at times. We'll call him 'Martin.'
One girl started a massive chain effect by tweeting out pictures of Martin and her texts with him, where he uses the N-word (he is incredibly white, so big no-no). Another girl chimed in by saying Martin also posed as her uncles son when her uncle was dying in the hospital in order to steal his wallet and all his belongings. Then another girl added on by tweeting Martin also harasses girls at parties and over the internet, including her.
Over 50 girls messaged her, recounting their stories with Martin. In total, 16 girls came forward to say that he assaulted them. Only two of them went to court, Martin won both times due to lack of evidence. There weren't even assaulted kits performed on these girls who went straight to the police. So these girls are posting on social media to raise awareness and to get something done about this guy. You can see his overdo karma is clearly coming.
So many people in my small town have spoken up about it, but there's also a lot of people making excuses for him and blaming the girls who are making a stand, saying they're 'chasing clout.' Kinda hard to watch, but I'm glad that something is being done about it instead of just silence."